Bebo Turns Down $550 Million?
TechCrunch reports that up-and-coming social networking site Bebo, which has caught MySpace in the UK, has declined a $550 million buyout offer. The post also reports on The Facebook turning down $1 billion.
Who knows what the truth is. But let’s assume these rumors are correct. The only thing the VCs behind these companies can be thinking is that they’re going public. These days that’s something of a long-shot, although more IPOs are happening now than a year ago.
But the stability and longevity (as Friendster proved by negative example) of these sites is far from clear. The undisputed king of social networking, MySpace, still is trying to entice advertisers onto the site (although resistance is starting to break down).
Shrewd management, business development and clear vision might make one or two of them long-term ad plays. But I might have taken the money. To “Web2.0? and “Bubble2.0,” we can now add “Greed2.0.”
Greg Sterling is the founding principal of Sterling Market Intelligence, a consulting and research firm focused on online consumer and advertiser behavior and the relationship between the Internet and traditional media, with an emphasis on the local marketplace.